Doesn't he look like a future surfer? I have exactly ONE picture of this boy crawling, because once he figured out that vertical was an option, he never looked back. This shot was taken moments after he'd dragged that stool out of the bathroom, having figured out that the linen closet doorknob was out of his reach without it.
And he was constantly pushing his limits. I still remember walking with him in the yard and realizing that he was deliberately walking around the tree with the knobbiest exposed roots -- he wanted to prove to himself that he could do it!
This pursuit of the limits of balance was nothing short of inspiring. It wasn't that he didn't know about falling. He absolutely did. But the thrill and satisfaction of mastering a new challenge was the hands-down winner every time.
I stood aside and kept up a silent running stream of self-talk: "He probably won't break anything, he'll probably be okay if he falls, he seems to know his limits, he's having so much fun, look how proud he is of himself..."
This shot is from the same day:
Yep. That's a fire truck with wheels. Have I mentioned that I have a lot more grey hair than I did in 2001? But look at how pleased he is!
Wouldn't it be great if we could retain this fearless acceptance of risk in the face of losing one's balance? Most falls only result in bruises, after all.